Armenia’s democratization efforts adversely affected by Azerbaijani regime’s brutal offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh – Freedom House

Armenia’s Democracy Score has declined from 3.11 to 3.07 in the Nations in Transit 2023 report published by the Freedom House.

“In the South Caucasus, Armenia’s democratization efforts were adversely affected by the Azerbaijani regime’s brutal offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, which prompted the more than 120,000 ethnic Armenians living there to flee west. They have now settled mostly in Armenia itself, where the government is attempting to address their humanitarian needs while also defending its own territory, consolidating power amid domestic criticism, and responding to the demands for better governance that sparked the country’s 2018 revolution,” the report reads.

In the region Armenia and Georgia are classified by the Freedom House as “transitional or hybrid” regimes, while Azerbaijan is referred to as “semi-consolidated authoritarian regime.”

According to the report, democratic governance in the Nations in Transit region declined for the 20th consecutive year in 2023. The continued assault on basic freedoms by Eurasian autocracies and the deterioration of democratic institutions in countries ranked as Hybrid Regimes—those with a mix of autocratic and democratic features—easily outweighed the modest gains by European democracies over the past year. Of the 29 countries covered in this report, 10 suffered declines in their Democracy Score, while just five earned improvements.  

“A geopolitical reordering is underway in the region stretching from Central Europe to Central Asia. Moscow’s ongoing attempt to destroy Ukraine and the Azerbaijani regime’s inhumane conquest of Nagorno-Karabakh demonstrated once again the deadly consequences of autocracy’s expansion. These and other events in recent years have accelerated a geopolitical reordering in the region, with countries sorting themselves into two opposing blocs: those committed to a liberal, democratic order and those that violently reject it,” the Freedom House says. 

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